Congratulations, you read the whole article.
Seriously though, this is a question that a lot of people struggle with when they are thinking about starting a business or what business they should start. There’s a lot of conflicting advice between “get money and experience” and “just do it”.
You should just do it.
Being a founder is a job that involves a lot of personal growth. That’s basically the whole job. You have to figure out how to wear every hat of your organization, and no matter how good you are at something, there is going to be a vast ocean of things that you will need to learn.
I cringe at my first startup.
Cringe may be too soft of a word.
I started it when I was 19 and stoned off my ass with my girlfriend at the time. We had created this Facebook page for hippies, and back in 2011 that meant that our page with 17,000 followers was reaching over 1,000,000 people a month.
Being the good jewish boy that I was, I thought I could make money off of it.
Imagine this, a retro blogger.com website, with shitty 2011 paypal integrations, and the products… Came from hippieshop.com by simply stealing their images and marking up the price of the product by 20%.
Somehow people were actually buying shit from me, and thus launched Hippies Hope Shop, where every item sold triggered a donation to the World Food Programme to feed someone in need.
Two months later I received a scathing email from HippieShop.com once they realized what I was doing, and thus began a life long journey learning how to become a real entrepreneur.
If a 19 year old kid who was probably smoking a little too much weed, didn’t know anything about WordPress, Shopify, graphic design, programming, advertising, SEO, SEM, accounting, Amazon FBA, how to file taxes, or how to make his girlfriend not so upset with him all the time (can someone please help me with this actually?) can launch a profitable company from the second bedroom of his apartment, then so can you.
Entrepreneurship is about learning.
If people knew the right answer, it would be easy.
It’s easy to say “well successful entrepreneurs already knew everything to start the company!”
That’s a cop out. It’s cheating. It’s a mentally weak point of view. It’s like saying “well the best investment is one where I get a 1000% return and it’s completely safe”. Duh.
The greatest founders in my opinion, are ones that relentlessly learn every aspect of their company. They are experts in learning things that they don’t know.
Need to build an app? They learn how to program. Need to sell a product? They learn how to import wooden boxes from Thailand. Need to ship a product to Germany? Guess they’re learning about international customs. Need to scale revenue? Time to brush up on Google SEM.
There is something to be said about hiring competent people to execute parts of your business that you don’t know how to do. But how do you know who is competent, if you yourself aren’t competent in that area?
You need to become good, and hire people even better. Not put your head in the sand and hope you know how to hire an amazing developer to build your app or a salesman to sell your product.
The way you succeed in a startup environment isn’t by knowing all of the answers, but by being able to figure them out.
So yes, you should start a business with no experience. You will learn more through it than almost any other experience of your life. Just be prepared, willing, and capable of learning.